In which we escape to the English countryside for a weekend with friends and are able to avoid our phones and (temporarily) forget the enveloping darkness that our homeland is lurching into…
This weekend, we were charmed to keep the company of Ann-Marie and Shaun. They are very wonderful, fun, and engaging and we are always thrilled to have them as house guests. After they got in on Saturday night, we walked to the downtown mall with Pyrrha and had dinner at The Whiskey Jar.
Sunday night, we started a rousing discussion on the definition of marriage. It was energetic and compelling and thought-provoking and it even made me miss college a little. Remember college? Remember sitting around and having conversations like that all night long? We don’t do that much anymore. And maybe it’s good that we don’t, it’s good that we’ve moved on from finding our opinions so valuable, but at the same time, I do sincerely miss that heated exchange of ideas. It’s something I’ve always loved.
Does this blog feel a bit stale to you? I’ve been getting steadily worse at this hobby.
We have already had such a busy summer, but it has been a very happy one.
Shaun and Ann-Marie came to stay with us this weekend to celebrate Ann-Marie’s birthday and we had such a wonderful time with them: Great discussions, lots of food, a trip to Carter Mountain (Ann-Marie has a lovely set of photos from the excursion). We’re huge fans of them both and can’t wait to see them again soon.
We also got to see St. Vincent in concert at The Jefferson last night and she was incredible. She made me proud to be a woman. (Stephanie ran into her on the Downtown Mall yesterday. That makes me super-jealous.)
Snax, with handfuls of candy corn, which I unabashedly love:
Liz + Matt Married! A few photos of the wonderful bride and groom. We miss them and want them to come back from Italy soon! [You can totally spot the top of mine and Lulu’s heads in one shot… Score.] (Cramer Photo)
The Invisible Mother. Here’s something creepy for Halloween: The practice of covering up moms with oriental rugs and draperies while photographing children. (Retronaut)
Hitoshi Uchida, owner of J’Antiques Tokyo, and His Family Home in Kamakura, Japan. A gorgeous house of hodgepodge curious in the countryside of Japan. Don’t they all look so happy? (The Selby)
London Apartment: Converted School Gym. This looks like a totally awesome place to live, even if it looks like it’d be impossible to heat in the winter. Maybe they run gym classes to stay warm… (Paper Tastebuds)
You’ve Never Seen Book Art Like This Before. No joke! This is incredible. I don’t have the faintest idea where you’d begin with this kind of installation. (Lit Drift)
Is Your Link Old News? But if I ran everything on Snax through this application, I wouldn’t have any Snax to share… (How About Orange?)
DIY Tutorial: Moving Announcement Bookmarks. So classy! I don’t think I’d have the patience or wherewithal for this project (or any DIY projects, really. Not into that), but it’s great, all the same. (Oh, So Beautiful Paper)
Paper Dolls by Kyle Hilton. Would definitely play with these. (The Bluth Company)
Baby Goat Dances and Plays. Because we all need a little more happy baby goat in our lives. This will warm your heart on this cold October day. (Paw Nation)
Tuesday night, standing on the porch and about to walk in the front door, I heard the distinct sound of hooves. I looked up and, to my delight, there was a horse-drawn carriage moving up the street. Two fawn-colored draft horses pulling a glossy white Cinderella-style carriage; two drivers, a man and a woman, both wearing black top hats. I watched from the porch until they passed out of my sight, but I went inside very happy and amused.
These days I am dreaming a lot about the house we are hoping to find when we move in May. I have vivid dreams about specific floor plans. In one dream, the house has dingy pink carpets throughout. In the next dream, the house has forty rooms but looks the size of a double-wide on the outside. In another, the house has a perfect farm-style porcelain sink but no cabinets of any kind. In another, the house has immaculate interior design but is covered in mildewy siding on the outside, surrounded by a chain-link fence in a scary neighborhood. The only consistent feature among the multiple dream houses is that they all have gorgeous, lush lawns. I hope this is the part that will come true.
We become very affectionate with each other while we’re waiting in the grocery checkout line. I’m not sure what inspires this. We joke and laugh and kiss each other’s cheeks and try to guess how much we are going to spend.
I am not very skilled with Roman numerals. I remember one of our friend’s annoying little brothers bragging that he could do all of his math problems in Roman numerals if he wanted to. I told him, “That’s stupid. Why would you ever need to do that?” He was crestfallen. I felt a little guilty, looking at his wounded face. He was so proud of his obscure talent.
Shaun and Ann-Marie are coming to visit this weekend!
I have a beautiful drive to and from work. Coming down the hill every evening, I have a panoramic view of the Blue Ridge mountains. This is something to be daily grateful for.
Apparently we’ve had two more aftershocks here (ranging in magnitude from 4.2 to 4.5), but I haven’t felt either one and now I’m feeling left out of all the fun.
Hurricane Irene is fast on our heels and we are heading into her fury: We’re driving to Chapel Hill in a few hours for a long weekend there. Shaun and Ann-Marie are getting married and we are thrilled for them. I’m also thrilled that I get to see about 13 of my old friends while we’re in town. Thirteen friends + two sisters in four days = a very, very busy schedule, but I’m excited about it nonetheless!
Will bring many pictures back. And will not leave my purse in a gas station this time. At least, I’m going to do my best not to. See you then. Have a dry and safe weekend, to the best of your ability.
Late Monday Snax!
People we saw (click on thumbnails to enlarge!):
As you can see, we had a wonderful weekend in North Carolina, even though it was jam-packed with activities and even though we didn’t get to see everyone we’d hoped to (e.g., Danielle, Meller, Logan, Sam, Carmen, Sarah, etc.). I feel absolutely exhausted today and felt like falling asleep several times today at work. The dark and stormy skies don’t help that feeling, either. But we’re home and happy to be back even though we miss everyone dearly.
Snax as a garnish around a stuffed swan:
Shaun and Ann-Marie’s Engagement Shoot. We got to spend a handful of time with Shaun, one of G’s best friends, and his utterly fabulous, funny, and beautiful Aussie fiancee, Ann-Marie this weekend. They just got their engagement photos back and I think they are just perfect! Can’t wait for their wedding in August! (Sarah Der Photography)
Mixed America’s Family Trees. This is such a fascinating feature from the NYT: A series of interactive family trees with photographs from families with mixed racial heritage from across the country. I was really into genealogy in middle school. If I had to take a stab at my multicolored leaves, I think my mix is predominately Irish-Scotch-Dutch. How about you?
Daddy-O. I miss my dad. I love this photo of him and Dublin. (Como Say What?)
Leaving Tokyo. These photographs of pregnant women and families with little children fleeing the Tokyo area are so heart-wrenching to me. The children look so frightened and serious. I think about Japan almost every day and I can’t get the Japanese out of my mind. (Tokyo Photojournalist)
Having a Dog Makes You Exercise More. Reason #3,408 why I NEED a dog. (We can give up online shopping, but we cannot give up NY Mag.) (New York Magazine)
50 Photos of Basset Hounds Running. This is absolutely and gloriously grotesque. If this isn’t proof that a Basset Hound is a really, really cruel way to breed an animal, nothing is. (Best Week Ever)
Sequinned Sewshi. Tiny, crafty things like this usually annoy me, but I have to admit that these hand-sewn sushi bits are pretty adorable. (Lobster and Swan)
Belle Sue. Dreamy, peaceful film photographs by Belle Sue. (Miss Moss)
15 Totally Surreal Vintage Ads. I think “totally surreal” is a bit too nice. “Extremely creepy” seems to fit better. (Flavorwire)